Why we still need to be alert to COVID-19 in children
A rise in UK cases of hepatitis is under investigation and potential explanations for the spike are COVID-19 and environmental triggers
An unusual spike in cases of hepatitis is being investigated across the UK.
Adenovirus infection is being considered as a cause, but other potential explanations being looked into include COVID-19 and environmental triggers.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has ruled out a link with COVID-19 vaccination as a cause.
The numbers infected are small and most of those admitted to hospital so far are under six years of age.
Link with COVID-19 and liver damage being investigated
Healthcare professionals and parents are being urged to look out for signs including jaundice and dark urine, pale coloured faeces, high temperature, tiredness, stomach pain, loss of appetite, muscle and joint pain and itchy skin.
Handwashing and good hygiene are the best barrier to infection, but – as you know – are never easy to achieve with young children.
The UKHSA is examining a link with COVID-19, which has been associated with liver damage, and cases have been identified in children overseas who needed treatment for hepatitis.
Paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome nurse appointed
We need to know more about this issue, but it could be another example of the fall-out from COVID-19 for children. In 2020, paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS-TS) also emerged.
One hospital has now appointed a PIMS-TS specialist nurse.
Michael Bell works at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital with a team of other nurses and doctors to provide care to families and runs a dedicated helpline for those children who have been discharged.
Children and young people did not generally feel the biggest immediate impact of the pandemic, but the long-term effects on them are now becoming apparent.
- RELATED: Paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS): providing resuscitative care
Cases of children with Long-COVID have emerged and specialist clinics are being set up, and there are now valuable resources, such as the website Long COVID Kids, that can provide support.
And the true effects of COVID-19 on children’s mental health will, of course, take years to unravel.
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